Retargeting is an excellent way to further build brand awareness, increase your conversions and give potential customers additional chances to close the sale. If it’s not already a part of your overall online marketing strategy, you’re losing market share to competitors. It’s also a great way to promote the blog that you use for content marketing purposes to drive traffic to your site.
What is Retargeting?
Retargeting (sometimes called remarketing) is a digital marketing tactic that uses browser technology to keep your brand in front of people who’ve expressed an interest in your product or service.
Here’s how it works: A person visits your website and doesn’t make any transactions. While on your website, your ad service (e.g., Google AdSense) places a digital “cookie” (basically, a technological footprint that says the person visited your site) in the person’s browser. Then, when that same person visits other websites that use the same ad service that you use, he or she will see an ad for your website. In fact, it’s very likely that the person will see your ads at numerous sites, especially if you’re using a top-tier ad service such as AdRoll or Google AdSense.
The idea behind retargeting is simple: You want to maintain a presence in front of people who’ve expressed enough of an interest in what it is that you’re offering to have visited your website on at least one occasion. It’s a great way to gently remind people that you’re still out there in the event that there’s further interest.
Use Cases for Retargeting
So when would you use retargeting? Here some possible use cases.
Catching the one that got away
Somebody visited your site in an effort to do some comparison shopping. Then, that person decided to go visit another site to check out what’s being offered there. During this comparison shopping process, the consumer is using Google to perform searches and visiting other websites.
Wouldn’t it be great if that person saw ads for your brand on another website? That’s exactly what will happen with retargeting. While the consumer is shopping around and performing routine online research, he or she will see ads for your company on other websites. In some cases, those ads might appear on the websites of competitors.
Retargeting is a great way to throw your bait back out at the big fish that got away. It gives people another chance to finish the sale.
Limited Time Offers
Perhaps you have a time-sensitive offer in the works. It’s a great deal for some product or service that you’re offering. However, it expires in a month.
Retargeting is a great way to reach out to people who’ve expressed an interest in your site, but didn’t close, perhaps because the price was a bit high. If that’s the case, retarget those people with a special offer that requires a sense of urgency. That might just give them the gentle nudge that they need to revisit your site and make the purchase.
You Want to Upsell
Perhaps your product or service is offered in “standard” and “premium” flavors. If that’s the case, then you should retarget people who purchased the standard offering for an upsell to premium.
For starters, yes, retargeting does give you the opportunity to segment your customers based on interest and purchases. That’s one of the outstanding features of using retargeting as a marketing strategy: it allows you to retarget to a very specific market, thus maximizing cost effectiveness.
For those people who have purchased the standard product or service, they might be very happy with it and perfectly willing to upgrade to the premium version… if only they had the right incentive. You can provide that incentive with retargeting. You can also combine the upsell retargeting effort with the “limited time” special deal retargeting effort mentioned above to give people an even better reason to upgrade.
Build Brand Awareness
Sometimes, it’s a great idea just to remind your market that you’re out there. That’s another great reason to use retargeting.
This use case is just a classic case of recognizing the basics of consumer psychology. If people have forgotten about your brand, even after they visited your website, then you’re obviously going to face challenges reaching that market. With retargeting, you can keep your brand in front of them and, hopefully, in their memory. Then, when they’ve decided that it’s time to make a purchase, it’s possible that your company is the first one that will come to mind.
Retargeting as a Supplement to Inbound Marketing
Hopefully, you’re already using content marketing to drive traffic to your blog. If that’s the case, then you can use retargeting with content marketing to increase your reach.
Using content marketing, people will find your site’s blog by searching for keywords in Google and finding your article that ranks high on Google’s search results and provides helpful information. Then, when someone lands on your blog, you can add a cookie to the visitor’s browser that can be used for specific retargeting purposes.
For example, if someone lands on your blog post about mobile site optimization, your website would drop a cookie in their browser indicating that the visitor expressed an interest in search engine optimization (SEO) for mobile sites. Then, when that person is visiting other sites around the web, he or she would see your retargeting ads specifically advertising your mobile SEO services.
Retargeting: The Stats
Retargeting seems effective at face value. By employing it, you’re giving people additional chances to convert the sale, so statistically it just makes sense.
However, there are more concrete statistics that point to the effectiveness of retargeting. For example, comScore found that, out of all the various online marketing strategies available, retargeting lifted trademark search behavior a whopping 1,046%.
It gets better. According to research from Toluna, nearly three in five online buyers in the United States said that they notice ads for products that they searched for on other sites. That same research shows that 30% of people who saw a retargeted ad had a positive or very positive reaction to the ad. Only 11% expressed a negative reaction to the ad. Also, the Toluna study shows that half of those surveyed had visited two or more sites to research a purchase, meaning that they were doing some type of comparison shopping. In those cases, retargeting is especially helpful because it’s a reminder of at least one option for purchase.
Further, according to research from Chango and Digiday, the top four words that surveyed media buyers use to describe retargeting are:
The same survey of almost 300 professionals in the U.S., Canada, and the U.K. showed that more than half of respondents planned to increase their retargeting budgets in the following fiscal year. Also, the research showed that one in five marketers has a dedicated budget for retargeting. More than half of respondents said that their objective from retargeting is to either increase brand awareness (34.9%) or increase brand revenue (23.1%).
Multinational corporations that are household names use retargeting, as a further testament to its effectiveness. Back in 2012, Jeff Jarrett, then VP of Global Digital Marketing at Kimberly-Clark, said: “We do retargeting because it is clearly an opportunity to target an interested consumer. We use ad retargeting and search retargeting across the variety of Kimberly-Clark brands. If a consumer visits our property and expresses an interest, there is an opportunity to take advantage of that interest. We have seen some good results. Consumers who visit the brand site are 20 percent more likely to act on a message than a consumer who has not expressed this interest.”
Also, retargeting efforts that employ social media are particularly effective. Facebook Exchange (FBX) is Facebook’s advertising platform specifically designed for retargeting. AdRoll examined more than a billion impressions from over 500 advertisers on FBX. These included ads that ran on the right-hand sidebar, in the newsfeed itself, and just standard web retargeted ads. The results were astonishing: The FBX ads accounted for 15% of the clicks, even though they were just .5% of the overall ad impressions.
Other Advantages of Using Retargeting
In addition to the conversion rate statistics mentioned above, there are other benefits to using retargeting that should not be overlooked.
For starters, you’ll have less incidental traffic. Your ad campaign strategy might use particular keywords that will trigger for a search that’s totally unrelated to what you’re offering. When that happens, curious Google users might click on your link just to see what’s going on at your site. These people will leave almost immediately, resulting in a cost to you that was a complete waste of money.
When you use retargeting, people who have already expressed an interest in your company are seeing your ad. Then, if they click on the link, it’s probably out of a sincere interest to make a purchase.
Also, retargeting gives you a boatload of free impressions. People who have visited your website will see your retargeted ads all over the place. This is a great way to build brand name recognition. Even if they don’t convert immediately, they’ll still be inundated with a message about your company.
Finally, you’ll see a reduced cost for retargeting as compared with traditional search engine marketing (SEM). Depending on your industry, you could easily pay $20-$50 for a click based on a keyword if you opt for traditional SEM. However, a retargeting click can cost considerably less, as little as $1 to $2, depending on your industry. This is why it’s great to use content marketing to bring people to your blog – because it’s cost effective as compared with SEM. Once you’ve brought people to your site with proper content marketing and SEO, you can target those visitors for remarketing. That will give you a very efficient digital marketing strategy.
Don’t let your competitors leave you behind. If you’re not using retargeting as a means to convert sales, then you’re missing out on a great return on investment.